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Nitriding

In nitriding the surface-layer of a material is enriched with nitrogen.  If carbon is also diffused in it is referred to as nitrocarburising.  The process temperature for nitriding lies between 480 and 580 °C.  Depending on the desired layer composition and starting material either short-term nitriding (2 – 8 hours) or long-term nitriding (up to120 hours or longer) is used.

This treatment results in a surface hardness of up to 1200 HV depending on material.

In nitriding differing processes are selected according to the diffusion medium

  1. Diffusion of nitrogen
    Gasnitriding
    Plasmanitriding
    Vacuum-nitriding

  2. Diffusion of nitrogen and carbon
    Gasnitrocarburising
    Plasmanitrocarburising
    Saltbathnitrocarburising

The following conditions apply to every process:

The longer the duration of nitriding the greater the nitriding depth.

The higher the process temperature the deeper the nitrogen penetration in the same process time.  Generally the intrinsic hardness of the nitride layer decreases with increasing treatment temperature.

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